Submap: conceptualising relational space using information technologies

Noemi Giupponi, Craig Thomson

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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    In this paper it is demonstrated how spatial information technologies can be employed to create imaginaries of cities abstracting relational and subjective spaces in the context of community planning. The governmental technology offered by Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics (SNS) called ‘area profiling’ is criticized for its inability to “enhance, rather than replace, dialogue” (Hoch, 2015) during collaborative processes. Using primary and secondary sources, this research understands that the conceptual design of traditional area profiles ignores the subjective dimension of space and an innovative technique is presented to address this conceptually. Cartographic design principles are applied to create ‘Submap’, a profiling techniques in which the spatio temporality of subjective space is symbolized and abstracted. Examples are given of different applications of this technique using a small N pilot study in the historic area of the Gorbals, Glasgow. Eventually, a spatial database relating the data content of Submaps to the data content of traditional area profiling is modeled and the possibility of crossing between the quantitative and qualitative chasm (DeLyser, 2012) is explored. In the next stage of research different methods for employing this technique are tested along with the validation of its influence on the cognitive processes of urban practitioners. This overall work will contribute to the development of a research framework for assessing the impact of specific profiling techniques on planning.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publication51st ISOCARP International Congress
    EditorsJudith Ryser
    Place of PublicationRotterdam
    Number of pages13
    ISBN (Electronic)9789490354459
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2016


    • relational space
    • subjective space
    • information technologies


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